In Brief

July 1, 2008

Boeing submits bid for Space Situational Awareness program to U.S. Air Force

Boeing in St. Louis submitted a bid to the U.S. Air Force this month for the $30 million Self-Awareness Space Situational Awareness (SASSA) program to detect threats to U.S. space assets using instruments on satellites. A contract award is expected later this year. Boeing demonstrated its system’s compatibility with a host vehicle and with several threat-warning instruments. Boeing manufactures geostationary satellites with designs that support mobile communications, weather forecasting, global positioning, and military communications. Boeing has built one-third of all satellites operating today, company officials say.

U.S. Navy awards contract extension to General Dynamics for F/A-18 gun systems

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, in Charlotte, N.C., a $7.8 million contract extension for M61A2 20mm automatic Gatling gun systems for F/A-18 fighter jets. Work will be at the General Dynamics Saco, Maine, facility, with final deliveries this fall. General Dynamics won the initial $10 million contract in July 2005 followed by a $12.5 million contract extension in August 2006. The M61A1 and M61A2 guns fire as many as 7,200 shots per minute. For more information, visit

Raytheon to develop next-generation DCGS integration backbone architecture

Raytheon in Garland, Texas, won a U.S. Air Force contract to finish designing a system called the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) Integration Backbone (DIB) that helps share intelligence information among warfighters. The Web-based DIB enables military analysts and the intelligence communities to collaborate, regardless of their military service affiliation. Raytheon first developed the DIB under the DCGS 10.2 contract for the Air Force and moved software into systems for the Army and Navy. The DIB 1.3 will integrate commercial products with Solaris 10, Oracle 10g and Weblogic 10. The software will enable need-to-know capabilities, security domain federation, network-centric enterprise services security, automatic discovery, and federation of DIBs, company officials say.

L-3’s SmartDeck receives FAA certification for Cirrus SR22 aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the SmartDeck Integrated Flight Controls and Display System from L-3 Communications Avionics Systems in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Cirrus Design SR22 G2 single-engine general aviation aircraft. “SmartDeck’s user interface is designed to boost pilot confidence and create a safe, simple, and easy-to-control cockpit environment,” says Adrienne Stevens, president of L-3 Avionics Systems. Pertinent flight information is quickly and easily accessible. SmartDeck includes a display for flight plan management and communications. Its center-console, 4-by-5.25-inch display frees up space on the multifunction display (MFD) and enables pilots to monitor a flight while obtaining airport or flight plan information, L-3 officials say. SmartDeck provides data on navigation, traffic avoidance, terrain avoidance, communication, flight controls, engine parameters, and enhanced vision. For more information, visit

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